SA Rugby has approved the resumption of non-contact training for all amateur rugby, including schools and clubs.
The decision was taken in view of the recent easing of adjusted level three lockdown regulations, based on the current downward curve in the rates of infection.
Looking ahead, the national federation confirmed the restart of the amateur rugby season would follow a structured approach to ensure the health and safety of players and management was taken into consideration.
The initial phase would comprise of a minimum of four weeks’ non-contact training where the emphasis would be on fitness, conditioning and strength training.
Phase two, if permitted by the relevant bodies, would see a minimum of four weeks’ gradual integration of contact training, paving the way for return to play in the third phase.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux emphasised the need for responsible behaviour from the local rugby community.
“SA Rugby is the custodian of rugby in the country but school sport falls under the auspices of the Department of Basic Education and they must therefore adhere to government’s rules and regulations,” said Roux.
“Schools have got their own Covid management committees, and together with the school headmaster they will provide the final say on whether the school participates in rugby or not.”
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby director of rugby, said while there would be excitement in the rugby community, it was very important that stakeholders adhered to the protocols.
“Schools rugby is the foundation of our game and where our future Springboks are born. We’ve already lost an entire season and we’re working very hard at ensuring they play again this year, keeping in mind the fluidity of the pandemic,” Erasmus said.
“While they will no doubt be very excited for the prospects of restarting rugby activities, we must emphasise the importance of strict adherence to the guidelines of the government, as well as SA Rugby’s own Covid-19 protocols.”